Benetton break Champions Cup duck
MATCH REPORT: Benetton snatched their first win in Pool 1 of the Champions Cup after Marco Lazzaroni’s dramatic try edged them to a thrilling 25-22 win over Lyon in Treviso.
Lyon were moving towards their second victory in this season’s competition as they led 22-18 after a see-saw struggle but replacement Lazzaroni proved to be the unlikely hero as he finished off a neat move to score under the posts and Antonio Rizzi’s conversion eight minutes from time proved decisive.
Winless Benetton had made a near perfect start as they notched two tries in the opening 14 minutes to build up a 12-0 lead.
Wing Leonard Sato went over first after a smart inside ball from Denaldt Duvenage before Australian wing Monty Ioane supported a break from Luca Morisi to sprint over and Ian Keatley converted.
Lyon finally got into gear and were ahead by half-time as first flank Liam Kill plunged over from a driving maul and six minutes later former All Black centre Rudi Wulf showed his power to cross with flyhalf Patricio Fernandez adding both conversions.
Lyon centre Pierre-Louis Barassi looked to have settled it 15 minutes from time when he powered over wideout and the conversion give them a four-point buffer but the battling Italian outfit were not to be denied.
Benetton travel to Northampton next on Sunday, January 12 while Lyon visit Leinster on the same day.
Tries: Sarto, Ioane, Lazzaroni
Cons: Keatley, Rizzi
Pens: Keatley 2
Tries: Gill, Wulf, Barassi
Cons: Fernandez 2
Benetton: 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Leonardo Sarto, 13 Ratuva Tavuyara, 12 Luca Morisi, 11 Monty Ioane, 10 Ian Keatley, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage (captain), 8 Braam Steyn, 7 Giovanni Pettinelli, 6 Sebastian Negri, 5 Eli Snyman, 4 Ira Herbst, 3 Tiziano Pasquali, 2 Hame Faiva, 1 Cherif Traore.
Replacements: 16 Federico Zani, 17 Nicola Quaglio, 18 Michele Mancini Parri, 19 Marco Fuser, 20 Marco Lazzaroni, 21 Marco Barbini, 22 Tito Tebaldi, 23 Antonio Rizzi.
Lyon: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Ethan Dumortier, 13 Pierre-Louis Barassi, 12 Rudi Wulf, 11 Noa Nakaitaci, 10 Pato Fernandez, 9 Jonathan Pélissié (captain), 8 Loann Goujon, 7 Liam Gill, 6 Patrick Sobela, 5 Etienne Oosthuizen, 4 Killian Geraci, 3 Clément Ric, 2 Jeremie Maurouard, 1 Vivien Devisme.
Replacements: 16 Badri Alkhazashvili, 17 Xavier Chiocci, 18 Hamza Kaabèche, 19 Tanginoa Halaifonua, 20 Virgile Bruni, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Xavier Mignot, 23 Jonathan Wisniewski.
Referee: Matthew Carley (England)
Assistant referees: JP Doyle (England), Anthony Woodthorpe (England)
TMO: Sean Davey (England)